Anthony W. Crowell
Dean and President Professor of Law
Anthony W. Crowell is New York Law School’s 16th Dean and President. He also teaches courses on state and local government law.
Since Dean Crowell’s appointment in May 2012, and amid rapid changes in legal education and the profession, NYLS has launched bold and innovative programs, served as an influential voice in critical dialogues, and collaborated on solutions to pressing legal and policy challenges at all levels of government.
Dean Crowell’s accomplishments include reintroducing NYLS as New York’s law school, issuing the School’s first comprehensive Strategic Plan and successive progress reports on that plan, creating the School’s first Institutional Diversity and Inclusion Plan, adopting a new curriculum, and dramatically expanding clinical and experiential learning programs to leverage New York City as the ultimate classroom.
Dean Crowell also led the creation of groundbreaking new academic centers, including the Innovation Center for Law and Technology, the Impact Center for Public Interest Law, and the Business of Law Institute, which focuses on legal technology. During his tenure, NYLS became one of the first law schools to combine its academic planning and career development functions into a seamless unit. NYLS also launched its Social Justice Hub, which houses a specialized public interest advising office and provides space to four national legal advocacy nonprofits.
Under Dean Crowell’s leadership, NYLS received one of the largest gifts in its 128-year history, establishing The Joe Plumeri Center for Social Justice and Economic Opportunity. This sophisticated, high-tech training center is home to NYLS’s 20-plus nationally-renowned clinics and experiential learning programs. The Plumeri Center serves as NYLS’s “law firm,” providing a wide range of community-based legal services to New Yorkers.
For its efforts, NYLS has received top rankings and accolades in clinical and experiential learning, diversity and inclusion, and a host of legal specialty areas. Dean Crowell has been recognized by Crain’s New York Business as one of the “People to Watch in Higher Education,” the only law school dean to make the list. He was also one of three law school deans named to City & State New York magazine’s “Higher Education Power 50,” a list of the 50 most influential people in academia statewide.
Prior to his appointment, Dean Crowell served as Counselor to New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. In the role, he was counsel and senior management and policy advisor to the Mayor, as well as general counsel to the Office of the Mayor. For more than a decade in City Hall, he successfully managed a broad portfolio of legal, regulatory, legislative, governance, administrative, and operational matters focused on enhancing New York City’s performance, competitiveness, accountability, and public integrity. He coordinated and oversaw the work of city agencies, boards, and commissions; spearheaded government reform and business process initiatives; and negotiated and implemented landmark reforms to the city’s lobbying and campaign finance laws. Dean Crowell also chaired the city’s Panel on Regulatory Review and sat on various boards dealing with pensions, procurement, and franchises and concessions. In addition, he served as Executive Director, Counsel, or Commissioner of six city Charter Revision Commissions.
From 2002 to 2006, Dean Crowell served as Special Counsel to the Mayor. From 1997 to 2002, he was an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the New York City Law Department’s Tax & Condemnation and Legal Counsel Divisions, where he handled complex litigation, advised on the legality of disputed policy issues, and drafted legislation and regulations for the Mayor and city agencies. In 2001, he served as counsel to the city’s Family Assistance Center, aiding families of 9/11 victims and directing the city’s World Trade Center Death Certificate Program. From 1992 to 1997, Dean Crowell worked in Washington, D.C. at the International City/County Management Association, where he managed the association’s government affairs and policy committee, worked with Congress and federal agencies on a variety of policy issues, and assisted in preparing dozens of amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Dean Crowell is an active and recognized member of New York City’s legal and civic communities. He is a recipient of the New York City Bar Association’s Outstanding Municipal Attorney Award and the author of numerous articles, practice materials, and other publications on state and local government law topics. Since 2013, he has served as a mayoral appointee to the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board, the city’s ethics board. He is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Brooklyn Public Library, the nation’s fifth largest library system, and has been a member of the Board since 2003. As Board Chair from 2009 to 2014, he helped lead historic changes in library governance and operations. He also serves on the Boards of Directors of the Citizens Union Foundation and the Congressional Award Foundation in Washington, D.C.
While serving in city government, he taught state and local government law at NYLS and Brooklyn Law School for more than a decade.
Dean Crowell received his B.A. magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied urban policy, and his J.D. cum laude from American University. He is a member of the bars of New York and New Jersey.
Law Review & Scholarly Articles
Revisionists’ History: A Foreword (Symposium: Process, Powers, and Lessons for the Future: 25 Years of the New York City Charter Revisions), 58 NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL LAW REVIEW 11- 16 (2013-2014).